Port Moody council unanimously approved Westport Village, a massive mixed-use development on the western edge of the city.
Council passed amendments to the official community plan (OCP), and issued development permits on Tuesday.
Coun. Amy Lubik said studies have shown social inclusion is directly correlated to diverse uses on a property.
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“When this first came to council about four years ago . . . I was floored by how many different uses are on this site,” Lubik said. “I think it’s a really wonderful example of what can be accomplished.
“The high percentage of rental – it’s over our inclusionary zoning – so much seniors housing, family friendly housing, arts, plazas.”
Other councillors and members of the public offered similar praise.
The project includes three towers up to 31-storeys tall containing an art theatre and studios, seniors care facilities and housing, space for retail, light industrial and offices, a grocery store and possibly even a hotel.
When completed, approximately 500 residential units and 585 jobs will be created in the city.
The 3.5-acres site is located on the 2100 block of Vinter St, adjacent to the Barnett Highway and just north of Clarke Street.
Applicant Andrew Peller Limited, a large wine producer, has been trying to upzone the industrial land to allow increased density since 2016.
The project passed third reading in 2019 but then stalled, which required the former council to grant an extension in July 2022.
Development is slated to take place over two phases.
The first phase will add nearly 266,000 square feet of residential and commercial space, approximately 37 percent of the project total.
It contains a 31-storey tower with 263 strata condo units and 16 market rental units; a four-storey art centre building with a new theatre, office and childcare spaces; a four-storey artist village containing 10 live-work units for artists (more than half of which will be offered at below-market rates).
Coun. Callan Morrison said the 12,000 sq. ft. theatre, which contains 350 seats, will make a major impact on arts in the city.
He said members of the theatre community have said the 150-seat Inlet Theatre doesn’t have the capacity to host a financially viable production.
“I just want to say that I’m very excited about this project. It’s been a long time coming,” Morrison said. “This is going to be awesome for our arts community.”
The second phase of development will add another 460,700 sq. ft. of mixed-use space.
It includes a public plaza; a 21-storey tower with rental housing, office space, an athletic club and grocery store; a 12-storey tower with seniors housing and care facilities, retail and light industrial; and a six-storey building with medical clinic space, ground retail and even hotel space.
The developer has signed housing agreements with the city ensuring subsidized artist studios and rental housing stays in place for the life of the building. Two more housing agreements will be required for the second phase.
Other agreements have been signed which will transfer a portion of South Schoolhouse Creek to the city for rehabilitation.
The company will also relocate the Trans Canada Trail from the west side of Douglas Street to the east side of the site to avoid traffic conflicts.
The terms initially required the developer to establish a bus service to the Moody Centre SkyTrain station, but they opted to pay the city $1.1 million in lieu.
Lubik said she was disappointed to see the bus shuttle not go forward, but staff said upcoming transit changes with the Portwood Project will hopefully allow more routes in the future.
The city will rake in approximately $3 million in community amenity contributions from the project.
Additionally, the city has agreed to close a 15,300 sq. ft. portion of Vitner Street, which will be sold to the developer for nearly $2.8 million and consolidated into the site.
A public art installation worth at least $500,000 will be created on sight, and the developer has committed to prepare a public art plan.
Coun. Haven Lurbiecki said the development was an example of a community-led project. She said the original OCP sought density at the end of the city, not throughout the middle.